Guan Eng’s graft trial: Exco members among 125 prosecution witnesses

Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Northeast District Police Station in George Town March 11, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Northeast District Police Station in George Town March 11, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — A total of 125 prosecution witnesses including several Penang executive council (Exco) members are expected to be called to testify in the corruption trial of former Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who faces four charges involving the construction of an undersea tunnel and road construction project in Penang.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin told reporters this after case management proceedings before Sessions Court Judge Azura Alwi today.

“A total of 125 witnesses could be called for the prosecution’s case, including several Exco members from Penang. We have also submitted all documents related to the case to the defence today.

“Among them were telephone forensic reports, reports from the financial analysis division of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and reports from prosecution experts on the projects involved,” he said.

Lim, 60, represented by Sangeet Kaur Deo, was exempted from attending proceedings today.

Earlier, Wan Shaharuddin informed the court that the prosecution had submitted all the documents required by the defence before the trial, which is expected to begin on June 8.

“We have also submitted a list of potential witnesses to the defence and a copy of the list of witnesses to the court,” he said.

On the first count, Lim is charged with using his position as the Penang Chief Minister then, for gratification amounting RM3.3 million, as an inducement for helping a company belonging to Datuk Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli to secure the undersea tunnel project, valued at RM6.3 million.

The offence was allegedly committed between January 2011 and August 2017 at the Penang Chief Minister’s Office, 28th Floor, Komtar, Georgetown, Penang, under Section 23 (1) of the MACC Act which carries an imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification or RM10,000, whichever is higher, if found guilty.

On the second, Lim, in his capacity as the Chief Minister of Penang is accused of having solicited bribes amounting to 10 per cent of the profits from Zarul to be earned by the company as gratification for helping it to secure the project.

The offence was allegedly committed near The Gardens Hotel, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, here, between 12.30am and 2am in March 2011.

The charge, framed under Section 16 of the MACC Act, provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of not less than five times the value of the gratification, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.

The Bagan member of parliament also faces two charges with causing two plots of land, worth RM208.8 million, belonging to the Penang government to be disposed of to two companies, which are linked to the state’s undersea tunnel project.

The charges,under Section 403 of the Penal Code, is punishable by imprisonment of up to five years and whipping, and a fine, upon conviction.

The offence was allegedly committed at the Penang Land and Mines Office, Level 21, Komtar, on February 17, 2015, and March 22, 2017. — Bernama

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